Books of 2016

I love looking back on Goodreads at the end of each year to see what I’ve read–the amazing, the okay, and the forgettable. 2016 was a good year for reading, and I had a hard time narrowing it down for a favorites list. These ones made the cut:


ALL THE LIGHT WE CANNOT SEE by Anthony Doerr–A heart-wrencher, but a gorgeously eloquent one. I’ve never seen war and tragedy depicted so starkly, yet beautifully.


AMULET SERIES by Kazu Kibuishi–Graphic novelS that hit a sweet spot, drawing the reader into the adventure without taking itself too seriously. Unique world well developed through both word and illustration.


CHICKADEE by Louise Erdrich–A vibrant glimpse of Ojibwe life from a Native author. Strong characters and family dynamics, and a lilting writing style that kept me reading.


THE FOG DIVER by Joel Ross–Steampunkish MG with flying ships and pirates and a girl captain who likes pretty things AND flying ships. This book and the sequel filled the hole left by Treasure Planet’s sadly unfulfilling flop.


IMPYRIUM by Henry Neff–Kind of post-apocalyptic, but mostly fantasy. Incredibly rich world, detailed characters, and a driving pace that had me walking around with a book in front of my face for three days. Possibly my top book of the year. The best part was when I got to the end and realized there was an ENTIRE COMPLETED SERIES preceding it. (The Tapestry series, in case you’re curious. But you don’t need to read it to enjoy this one.)


JACKABY by William Ritter–Sherlock meets the Fourth Doctor, with a doggedly determined woman taking the place of Watson. Mythical creatures from cultures all over the world make appearances, along with a resident ghost and a duck who refuses to turn back into a man. This one wins the quirky book prize of the year.


LITTLE ROBOT by Ben Hatke–I love Hatke’s work, and Little Robot was a perfect addition. The storyline was so engaging and the illustrations so captivating that my two-year-old sat through the entire book without so much as a wiggle.


THE NIGHT CIRCUS by Erin Morgenstern–I didn’t love The Prestige or that other dueling magician movie, so I was wary about this one. But oh, the prose! Oh, the circus! Oh, the characters who knit themselves into your very soul! This one ties for book of the year. Beautiful. Just beautiful.

And now it’s a new year, and I need new recommendations. What were some of your favorite reads last year?

4 thoughts on “Books of 2016

  1. Jackaby is also on my list of favorites for the past year. So quirky and delightful, a re-make, but also original.
    As for my favorite book last year, I wonder if you’ve ever heard of a little book called Stone Alliance…
    2016 was not my best year for reading. I read a ton of books, but not the kind I should have been/would have like to have read. But there were a few good ones I can recommend to you.
    I found a gem of an author in Gail Carriger, especially in her Finishing School series. Etiquette and Espionage was a surprising find. Steampunk Victorian London/England setting with supernaturals and a finishing school for young ladies, but on the dark side. Awesome.
    Snow Like Ashes, but Sara Raasch was pretty good, as well, and I have the next book in the series on my shelf TBR.
    I’m also a huge Kate DiCamillo fan and her newest book, Raymie Nightingale, was a beaut.
    Lastly, for graphic novels, I have to say that Baba Yaga’s Assistant was my favorite. Gold.


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